2023 NHL Draft Coverage
Bedard (5-foot-10, 185 pounds), a right-shot center, became the second player from Regina of the Western Hockey League to be ranked No. 1.Doug Wickenheiser, Montreal Canadiens, 1980). The forward was the only player born in British Columbia to be selected No. 1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Red Deer’s in the WHL in 2011 by the Edmonton Oilers.
“It’s an incredible feeling to be with my family and friends and to hear my name being called and to experience it, especially with such a prestigious organization,” Bedard said. “Everything I’ve heard about the people there is nothing but positivity.
“So grateful that the staff, Kyle, Luke (Richardson, Blackhawks coach), everyone put their faith in me with that selection.”
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The right-shot center (5-foot-10, 185 pounds), ranked No. 1 in NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings of North American skaters presented by Biosteel, won Canadian Hockey League Top Prospect, Top Scorer and David Branch Player of the Year awards. Award after leading the WHL in goals (71), points (143), shots on goal (360), points per game (2.51) and goals per game (1.24) in 57 regular season games. He tied the league for assists (72) and game-winning goals (11). He was plus-39, won 53.6 percent of face-offs and had 45 power-play points.
The Blackhawks won the No. 1 selection in the NHL Draft Lottery on May 8. Rounds 2-7 are here Thursday (11 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVAS).
Leo Karlsson, a center with Örebro of the Swedish Hockey League, number 2 picked by the Anaheim Ducks, and University of Michigan center Adam Fantilie was selected No. 3 by the San Jose Sharks. Center William Smith was selected at No. 4 by the San Jose Sharks from USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program Under-18 team, and defenseman David Rickenbacker was selected at No. 5 by the Montreal Canadiens.
In addition to enjoying the moment with his family, Bedard said he thought about his grandfather, Garth, after Davidson heard his name. Garth died in a car accident on April 6, 2021.
Bedard scored two goals in a 2–1 overtime win against Brandon three days after his grandfather’s death. He was named the first star of the game and pointed to Heaven after scoring 49 seconds into overtime.
Bedard said, “I’m thinking about my grandpa right now.” “He can’t stay here, but just have to have him with us, our whole family.”
Video: Connor Bedard drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks
Bedard was No. 1 in NHL Central Scouting’s ranking of North American skaters; Carlsson was ranked No. 1 in Central Scouting’s final ranking of international skaters.
Carlsen was surprised when the Ducks called his name at No. 2; Fantilie was the consensus No. 2 pick in several mock drafts prior to Wednesday.
“I mean, a little bit (surprised), there was a 50-50 feeling there,” Carlsson said. “It’s important that I had a meeting with (Anaheim) on Tuesday. “I didn’t want to think too much. I could have gone to No.5 as well, so it was hard to think about. But now, it’s wonderful.”
Karlsson had 25 points (10 goals, 15 assists) in 44 games for Örebro, playing mostly on the wing, and was named Swedish junior hockey player of the year. He had six points (three goals, three assists) in seven games for Sweden at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championships, and played mostly on the left wing on the top line.
Fantilie said, “As I said 100 times, there are a lot of amazing players in this draft and a lot of guys could have gone anywhere, so I’m really happy for (Carlsson).” “He’s a great kid and a fantastic hockey player, so I’m excited to see what he’s going to do.”
Fantilie, ranked No. 2 in Central Scouting’s final rankings of North American skaters, won the Hobey Baker Award as the top male player in NCAA ice hockey this season. The 18-year-old, ranked No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting’s final ranking of North American skaters, led NCAA players with 65 points and finished first with 30 goals in 36 games.
After a record three Slovakian-born players were selected in the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft, two were selected in the first round on Wednesday: center Delibor Dworsky (No. 10) of AIK in Sweden to the St. Louis Blues, and left winger Calgary Flames for wing Samuel Honzek (No. 16) of Vancouver in the Western Hockey League.
“I think Slovakian hockey has improved a lot over the years and I am happy to be a part of this generation,” said Dworsky. “Also, many congratulations to ‘Hanzi’.”
Video: Watch all the 2023 NHL Draft first-round selections
Blackhawks Acquire Forward taylor hall And Nick Foligno In trade with Boston Bruins for defensemen Ian Mitchell And Alec Regula On 26 June. Hall played at left wing in his rookie season to help groom two other centers: Connor McDavid with the Edmonton Oilers (2015–16), and Jack Hughes New Jersey Devils (2019–20) K.
“It’s very special,” Bedard said. “Those two guys have been through everything in the National Hockey League. For me to learn from them, they’re incredible players. They’re such valuable people to ask questions, so it’s wonderful.”
When Smith was selected by San Jose, it was the fifth year in a row that at least one member of the NTDP U-18 team was selected in the top five. This is the longest by any team in NHL draft history.
Smith was one of four NTDP players selected in the first round. The right-handed shot finished second on NTDP with 127 points (51 goals, 76 assists) in 60 games.
Following Smith, right wing Ryan Leonard went to the Washington Capitals at No. 8, center Oliver Moore went to the Blackhawks at No. 19, and right wing Gabriel Perrault was selected by the New York Rangers at No. 23. Perrault, Smith and Leonard played on the top line and would each attend Boston College the following season.
Perreault, ranked No. 10 in Central Scouting’s final ranking of North American skaters, led the team with 132 points (53 goals) in 63 games. Moore, considered by many to be the fastest skater in the draft, will attend the University of Minnesota.
“We chose him more than we chose Oliver,” Davidson said. “We were constantly trying to get ahead for too many picks. I was on the phone the whole time, almost from the moment I got back to my seat (after picking Bedard). I was on the phone working with him and Mana was trying to get up, so it’s almost an ideal scenario where we stayed in. We didn’t have to leave any extra options to get up and get it.’
The Blues made three selections in the first round: Dworsky, center Otto Stenberg (No. 25) of Sweden’s Frölunda, and defenseman Theo Lindstein (No. 29) of Sweden’s Bryansk.
Dmitry Simashev, a defenseman from Yaroslavl in Russia’s junior division, was the first of four Russian-born players selected in the first round (No. 6, Arizona Coyotes). He was ranked 19th in Central Scouting’s final ranking of international skaters.
“Of course, I was surprised (when I got my name called),” Simashev said. “It’s my dream to play in the NHL, and Arizona is a nice club and city and I’m ready.”
Simashev made his Kontinental Hockey League debut this season, averaging 6:55 of ice time in 18 games. The 18-year-old left-shot also scored 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in 29 games with Yaroslavl in Russia’s junior league.
St. Petersburg right wing Matvei Michkov in the KHL and No. 2 in Central Scouting’s final ranking of international skaters rose to No. 7 in the Philadelphia Flyers. Michkov was selected by many draft experts as the first player born in Russia.
“I’m glad it was the Flyers,” Michkov said through an interpreter. “No words; it’s an emotional moment. It means a lot to me. It’s my dream and my dream is to win the Stanley Cup.”
Philadelphia drafted Michkov with the understanding that his KHL contract with St. Petersburg would last through 2025–26.
Flyers GM Daniel Brierre said, “After watching him play and meeting him, we just knew this was a talent we couldn’t pass up.” “He loved the Flyers and wanted to be a part of the Flyers. He convinced us.”
2023 nhl draft first round
1. Chicago Blackhawks: Connor Bedard, C
2. Anaheim Ducks: Leo Carlson, C
3. Columbus Blue Jackets: Adam Fantilly, C
4. San Jose Sharks: Will Smith, C
5. Montreal Canadiens: David Rickenbacker, D
6. Arizona Coyotes: Dmitri Simashev, D
7. Philadelphia Flyers: Matvei Michkov, RW
8. Washington Capitals: Ryan Leonard, RW
9. Detroit Red Wings: Nate Danielson, C
10. St. Louis Blues: Delibor Dworsky, c
11. Vancouver Canucks: Tom Wilander, D
12. Arizona Coyotes (from Ottawa Senators): Daniel Butt, LW
13. Buffalo Sabres: Zack Benson, LW
14. Pittsburgh Penguins: Brayden Yeager, C
15. Nashville Predators: Matthew Wood, RW
16. Calgary Flames: Samuel Honzek, LW
17. Detroit Red Wings (from New York Islanders via Vancouver Canucks): Axel Sandin Pellica, D
18. Winnipeg Jets: Colby Barlow, LW
19. Chicago Blackhawks (from Tampa Bay Lightning): Oliver Moore, C
20. Seattle Kraken: Eduard Sale, LW
21. Minnesota Wild: Charlie Strammel, c
22. Philadelphia Flyers (from Los Angeles Kings via Columbus Blue Jackets): Oliver Bonk, D
23. New York Rangers: Gabriel Perrault, RW
24. Nashville Predators (from Edmonton Oilers): Tanner Molendik, D
25. St. Louis Blues (from Toronto Maple Leafs): Otto Steinberg, c
26. San Jose Sharks (from New Jersey Devils): Quentin Musti, LW
27. Colorado Avalanche: Callum Ritchie, c
28. Toronto Maple Leafs (from Boston Bruins via Washington Capitals): Easton Cowan, RW
29. St. Louis Blues (from Dallas Stars via New York Rangers): Theo Lindstein, D
30. Carolina Hurricanes: Bradley Nadeau, LW
31. Colorado Avalanche (from Montreal Canadiens via Florida Panthers): Mikhail Gulayev, D
32. Vegas Golden Knights: David Edstrom, c